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“ovation-worthy solos” - All About Jazz

“flowed in a contemplative, somber vein, now and then building to moments of ferocious intensity” - The New York Times, on Korten's appearance with the Tyshawn Sorey Sextet

Critic’s choice: best pianists of 2020 - El Intruso 13th annual critics poll

“[among] some of the top Jazz talents in New York City” - Broadway World

“Counterpoint phrases and a whiff of dissonance prove to be rhetorical devices Korten is prone to, as the pianist's other, nimble-fingered contribution proves—singling his compositional approach out as an especially distinct kind.” - All About Jazz

“impeccable musicianship and characterful playing” - All About Jazz

Bandleaders of Note (Incomplete)

  • Melissa Aldana

  • John Ellis 

  • Dayna Stephens

  • Morgan Guerin

  • Ben Solomon

  • Zoh Amba

  • Stacy Dillard

  • Jerome Sabbagh

  • Kenji Lee

  • Dylan Band

  • Riley Stone-Lonergan

  • Alex Hitchcock

  • Yuma Uesaka

  • Tivon Pennicott

  • Kazemde George

  • Helena Kay

  • Elijah Jamal Balbed

  • Evan Harris

  • Lluc Casares Adobe

  • Linda Sikhakhane

  • Marcus Elliot

  • Rachel Mazer

  • Stephen Grady, Jr.

  • Jaleel Shaw

  • Caroline Davis

  • Kasan Belgrave

  • Nicola Caminiti

  • Alfredo Colon

  • Alden Hellmuth

  • Zoe Obadia

  • Nicole McCabe

  • David Leon
  • Henry Solomon
  • Nathan Reising
  • Benny Rubin, Jr.

  • Shai Golan

  • Jasper Dütz

  • Milena Casado

  • Ndabo Zulu

  • Dave Adewumi

  • Linda Briceño

  • Davy Lazar

  • Kali Rodriguez Peña

  • Dwight Adams

  • Max Boiko

  • Allen Dennard 

  • Joel Ross

  • Sasha Berliner

  • Simon Moullier

  • Juan Diego Villalobos

  • Chris Turner

  • Tahira Clayton

  • Olivia Chindamo

  • Brendan Asante

  • Sami Stevens

  • Tatiana Eva-Marie

  • Lauren Scales

  • Arianna Neikrug

  • Gina D'Soto

  • Chelsea Lee

  • DoYeon Kim

  • Mike Moreno

  • Jonathan Kreisberg

  • Lage Lund

  • Joel Harrison

  • Vinicius Gomes

  • Yoav Eshed

  • Roy Ben Bashat

  • Flávio Silva

  • Talia Rubenstein

  • Nick Pennington

  • Olin Clark

  • Silvan Joray

  • Robert Hurst

  • Massimo Biolcati

  • Ron Brooks

  • Or Bareket

  • Tyrone Allen

  • Adam Olszewski

  • Ben Tiberio

  • Hannah Marks

  • Nick Dunston

  • George Delancey

  • Alex Claffy

  • Hamish Smith

  • Logan Kane

  • Marcos Varela

  • Dan Montgomery

  • Cole Davis

  • Giuseppe Cucchiara

  • Paul "PapaBear" Johnson

  • Mikey Migliore

  • Ben Rolston

  • Tim Norton

  • Alon Near

  • Kaisa Mäensivu

  • Gervis Myles

  • Tyshawn Sorey

  • Ari Hoenig

  • Joe Farnsworth

  • Clarence Penn

  • George Davidson

  • Jongkuk Kim

  • Kweku Sumbry

  • Luther Allison

  • Evan Hyde

  • Karl-Henrik Ousbäck

  • Savannah Harris

  • Miguel Russell

  • Gary Kerkezou

  • Kayvon Gordon

  • Stephen Boegehold

  • Philippe Lemm

  • Jonathan Barahal Taylor

  • Charles Goold

  • Yotam Ben-Or

  • Roni Eytan

  • Michela Marino Lerman

  • Jihye Lee

  • Darcy James Argue

  • Liberté-Anne Lymberiou

  • Matt Wong

  • Eliana Fishbeyn

  • Robert Buonaspina

Photography by Tom Henning

About Lex

Lex Korten is an award winning pianist and composer from New York City who has become an integral voice in the contemporary Jazz and improvised music scene in his home city and a rising star in the worldwide Jazz community. Korten's name has appeared in the New York Times and Vogue magazine, and he's established a resounding presence in the projects of artists such as Pulitzer Prize winner/MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey, and Thelonious Monk Competition winner/Blue Note recording artist Melissa Aldana. Korten has otherwise found himself in demand by great musical luminaries including Jaleel Shaw, Mike Moreno, Joel Ross, Caroline Davis, Robert Hurst, John Ellis, Zoh Amba, Lage Lund, Dayna Stephens, Joe Farnsworth and Ari Hoenig to name a few. Established as a mainstay in his own generation's foremost projects, Korten has recorded almost 3 dozen albums with the up and coming cohort of leading artists in the expansive world of Black American Music.

Lex Korten has had ample opportunity to learn from some of the most dedicated and loving mentors in the piano pantheon, most formatively with Geri Allen and Benny Green. To help represent America’s great original art form, a music with social purpose and irrevocable partnership with African-American heritage, is a privilege and responsibility Korten strives to fulfill unyieldingly. He has been fortunate enough to perform in service of this ideal at an extensive list of the most illustrious festivals and clubs worldwide.


In 2020, Lex Korten won the UNISA International Jazz Piano Competition and later released his solo piano debut “Foreword.” His debut as a bandleader and composer is currently in production.

Korten currently teaches as a private instructor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and has given numerous lessons and masterclasses both worldwide and to worldwide visitors in New York. His touring schedule has taken him to well over a dozen foreign countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, North & South America plus dozens of US states, and counting.

Full Bio

       Lex Korten (b. 1994) was born and raised in New York City. Surrounded by an enormous rotating library of music in the household, Lex fell in love with Jazz around the age of 10 after being exposed to the works of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. He found his first mentor, Brooks Hartell, through the backpack newsletter of his elementary school P.S. 87, and was guided into the life-changing discoveries of Wynton Kelly and Jaki Byard, amongst many other lifelong heroes. Lex’s development continued at various workshops, studying throughout high school with Taylor Eigsti and eventually Fred Hersch. Lex was awarded by the National YoungArts Foundation for Jazz before graduating in 2012 from the High School for Math, Science and Engineering in Harlem.

       Lex attended the University of Michigan to study with Geri Allen while pursuing a dual degree in public policy. His years of close proximity with the scene and history of Detroit marked an extremely transformative period, thanks also to a tight group of inspired peers and an unforgettable cross-collaborative community in Ann Arbor. Lex was mentored closely for two years by renowned pianist Benny Green and also learned from Marcus Belgrave, Robert Hurst, Andrew Bishop, Ellen Rowe and Rodney Whitaker in the classroom and on the bandstand.


       Since returning to New York City, Lex has established himself as an irreplaceable voice drawing a common thread between many different musical communities This is shown clearly by the kind of artists who are seeking him out. He’s lucky enough to be central in the musical activity of his generation’s most ambitious leaders including Joel Ross, Morgan Guerin, Simon Moullier, Sasha Berliner, Ben Solomon, Milena Casado, Alfredo Colon, Zoh Amba and countless others. Korten is also a prolific writer and bandleader with several highly anticipated recording projects. His solo piano debut "Foreword" released independently on June 18, 2021. He aims to learn from his peers, elders and youngers while continuing to compose and lend his voice to the ongoing global musical dialogue.

       Korten has taught in an official capacity at The New School and Long Island University, and also has taught private lessons to students at prestigious conservatories including Oberlin, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Frost School of Music in Miami. He has also taught masterclasses at The Royal Academy of Music in London, UNC Greensboro, the University of Rochester, CSU Northridge, the University of Michigan, NYU, LACHSA and Durban High School in South Africa among others.

       Lex Korten's performance schedule has brought him to some of the most lucrative stages in the world including: The Kennedy Center, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Blue Note São Paulo, The McCarter Theatre, DACAMERA Houston, Hill Auditorium, North Sea/Montreal/Earshot (Seattle)/ DC/ Rochester/ Atlanta/ Detroit/ AAPI (Newark)/ BRIC/Winter (NYC) Jazz Festivals, Zandari Festa, The Kitchen, Roulette, Symphony Space, ZK Matthews Hall, The University of North Texas, Temple University, and virtually all major Jazz Clubs in New York as well as in cities like Detroit, London, Philadelphia, Athens, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Stockholm, Seoul, Buenos Aires, and more.

       As of 2024, some of Lex's favorite composers across the past decade include: Angel Marcloid, Tyshawn Sorey, Ramona Andra Langley, Immanuel Wilkins, Daniel Lopatin, and Ambrose Akinmusire. Outside of music, Lex's other activities of interest include history and urban geography, cooking, travel, and graphic design.

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